Law school deans on the move

  • Former Texas A&M Law Dean Andrew Morriss

Six more law schools have announced changes at the top, including Andrew Morriss who is leaving his position as dean of the Texas A&M School of Law in order to start a new school at the university.

Morriss announced he will be leaving to lead the new School of Innovation at its campus in College Station starting Aug. 1. Morriss was the first dean hired by Texas A&M after it bought Texas Wesleyan School of Law in 2013. Under his leadership, the law school made changes to become more competitive in a modern legal market, and the school’s prestige rose in national rankings.

Other outgoing deans include William Carter at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Eric Dannenmaier at Northern Illinois University School of Law.

Carter will step down from the deanship at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. He plans to return to teaching full time at the law school. Carter assumed the position of dean in 2012 and has lead the school in the formation of the Institute for Cyber Law, Policy & Security and the Energy Law & Policy Institute, as well as six new legal clinics.

Prior to joining Pitt Law, Carter taught at Case Western University and Temple University.

Northern Illinois University School of Law dean Eric Dannenmaier resigned his post after being on voluntary administrative leave since February. Law professor Mark Cordes will now serve as interim dean.

Dannenmaier’s departure comes shortly after an investigation into improper conduct concluded he violated university policy, the Chicago Tribune reported.  Two female faculty members alleged that Dannenmaier sexually harassed them and created a hostile work environment. A redacted copy of the university’s official report confirmed these allegations.

Three schools have also announced new deans.

Vermont Law School will welcome Thomas McHenry to its campus as the school’s ninth president and dean. 

McHenry previously worked in private practice and was a partner at Gibson Dunn in Los Angeles, Calif., specializing in environmental regulatory and administrative law. He has provided counsel internationally on environmental and natural resources legislation and regulations, and has volunteered extensively with a number of conservation foundations, funds and trusts.

For the past four years, McHenry has taught Environmental Business Transactions and Comparative U.S./France Land Use Law as a member of Vermont Law’s summer session faculty. He also co-chairs the Environmental Leadership Council of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and serves as vice-chair of the Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College where he taught environmental law to undergraduates for 25 years.

McHenry received his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, a master’s degree in forest science at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a bachelor’s degree in history at Yale College.

Gregory N. Mandel was named as the permanent dean for Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Mandel was appointed as interim dean in 2016 and has served as the law school’s associate dean for seven years. Before joining Temple Law’s faculty team, Mandel was a professor and associate dean at Albany Law School.

Prior to his career in academia, Mandel practiced with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Maegher & Flom in San Francisco. He also served as a law clerk for Judge Jerome Farris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit of Appeals. He is a leading national expert in the areas of intellectual property law, innovation and the interface between technology and law.

Mandel received his law degree from Stanford Law School and a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from Wesleyan University. He worked on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope prior to attending law school.

Paul Meggett was named as Charlotte School of Law’s interim dean. He has been with the school as an associate professor since 2011 and is the third person to serve as dean in the last three months.

Former deans Jay Conison and Scott Broyles both resigned the deanship earlier this year amid the law school’s ongoing troubles. Charlotte Law was placed on probation by the American Bar Association, and its students lost access to federal financial aid.

Prior to joining Charlotte Law as a full-time professor, Meggett spent 12 years as the Associate General Counsel for UNC Health Care System and Assistant University Counsel for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Meggett received his Juris Doctor from UNC Law and his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University. 

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